Schoon, Ingrid and Cheng, Helen
Determinants of political trust : a lifetime learning model.
Developmental Psychology, 47 (3).
||This is one of the first longitudinal studies examining developmental antecedents and covariates associated with the expression of political trust within two national population studies (the 1959 National Child Development Study and the 1970 British Cohort Study). The paper develops and tests a lifetime learning model of political trust, examining the role of early as well as later experiences within the family, the school, and the wider social context in shaping the formation and expression of political trust in adulthood. The model spans the period between birth to mid adulthood, assessing developmental pathways and cumulative experiences across the life course. Furthermore, the model is tested in two birth cohorts, establishing its generalizability in a changing socio-historical context. The findings show that political trust is a reflection of ongoing development and accumulated experiences across the life course, associated both with early and later experiences. Trust in institutions is not completely engrained at an early age and develops over time and in context through interactions with institutions that create opportunities for participation. The findings illustrating the potential of experiences at school for overcoming the impact of social background and engendering political trust at a later age, identifying a critical window of opportunity for developing political trust, This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
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